Category Archives for Relationship counseling

Communication & Love

Love is communicated in various ways. Through the written and spoken word, gift giving, acts of kindness, and by spending quality time together.  Healthy communication helps us form loving, meaningful connections with others. These kinds of connections are of utmost importance in happiness and feelings of fulfillment. Love is a basic human need, so how can we communicate with love?

Unhealthy communication brings about misunderstandings and hurt feelings. Name calling, yelling, and hurtful speech are all forms of unhealthy communication. Instead of creating loving bonds, this kind of communication can leave feelings of hurt and resentment. Rather than creating a safe space for open and loving communication, it creates an environment of hostility, drawing a wedge between people. Continuous hurtful, and even harmful communication such as this can have lasting negative effects on the mind and body communication

In the emotional part of the brain, known as the limbic system, the amygdala is directly linked to the emotional response to stimuli.  Arousal, memory, fear, emotional response, and hormonal secretions, are all part of the function of the amygdala. Cortisol, the stress hormone, is released in situations of elevated stress.

According to psychologytoday.com,  “The stress hormone, cortisol, is public health enemy number one. Scientists have known for years that elevated cortisol levels: interfere with learning and memory, lower immune function and bone density, increase weight gain, blood pressure, cholesterol, and heart disease.” We therefore want to do our best to reduce excess stress!

We may confront multiple situations each day that  create feelings of anxiety and frustration, at home and at work. Communication can either make or break a relationship, creating discord or unity. In times of differing opinion, how can we respond versus react? How can we approach these instances in a way that promotes loving communication?

Consider some practical ways to diffuse a situation when emotions are running high:

  • Deep Breathing – When confronting a difficult circumstance, take a few minutes to breathe deep to reduce cortisol levels. Breathe slowly for six seconds through the nose, and another six seconds out through the mouth. Try this 6 times, while sitting down.
  •  Take a Walk – Walking can promote the release of endorphins, helping to clear the mind. Having a clear head before confronting a stressful situation will ease the tension a bit.
  • Listen – Allowing the other person to express feelings and concerns freely will avoid misunderstandings, helping the other person to feel heard. Listening without interrupting shows respect and concern.
  • Talk Over a Meal –  A nourishing meal can be comforting, allowing for a peaceful environment. Feeling “hangry” will only exasperate the situation.
  • Diffuse Essential Oils  Literally diffuse the situation.  The use of therapeutic grade essential oils, like Young Living essential oils, can promote a calming atmosphere. Lavender, vanilla, and orange has shown to lift the mood and soothe stress.

Healthy communication can bridge the gap between misunderstandings and hurt feelings. Taking time to listen and speak with love and intention will allow for mutual respect and feelings of care. Love covers a multitude of sins!

At times, a mediator is necessary when trying to come to a resolution. If you’d like support with healthy communication techniques, call now for a free consultation!

Laura Stewart, BA, CHN Makin Wellness

Laura Stewart, BA, CHN Makin Wellness

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Communicate Effectively in Relationships

Communication is essential in a relationship because it can either hinder the relationship or make the relationship stronger. However, most people actually do not know how to communicate effectively. A lot of people confuse communication for chatting or just simply getting ideas across. In fact, communication in relationships is about connecting, letting your significant other know that you care, forming a stronger bond and fulfilling each others physical and psychological needs. (https://www.tonyrobbins.com/ultimate-relationship-guide/key-communication-relationships/) communication

Before talking about tips on how to build a satisfying relationship between you and your partner, let’s first take a look at what unhealthy communication looks like: full of negative thoughts and difficult emotion; bad listening skills; lack of understanding of what is going on in your partner’s life. And these poor communication skills can lead to break down of intimacy and trust. It usually happens when all the passion between each other has gone away and you start to pick at their mistakes, which you likely already know. Some harmful communication also happens when you expect your partner to change and they are hoping the same as well. However, these are all better than zero communication. Silence kills whatever relationships it wants, because how can you know what your partner is thinking about when you are not even trying to talk to him or her? https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/communication-in-relationships/#improve communication

 

So, how can you foster healthy communication in your relationship? Here is some advice: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-couch/201501/6-surprising-ways-communicate-better-your-partner

 

➜ Let your partner know that you care about what he or she has to say, which means that you have to put your whole mind into the conversation and listen actively. Listening actively is more than listening with concentration, it actually means interacting and clarifying without acting rude or judgemental.

 

➜ Make sure both sides get a chance to talk. You want to make sure you are not the one who dominates the conversation. Trying to find a balance between talking and listening can ensure a healthy relationship.

 

➜ Share some common memories. Study has showed that couples actually feel closer to each other when they are talking about their common experiences. So, talk about some pleasant or lovey moments you have with you partner and enjoy that moment.

 

➜Give your partner more appreciation, value, and love. Tell them they look pretty and compliment some nice little things they have done for you. Who does not like being respected and praised? But do not overdo it, otherwise you may lose trust from your partner and be labeled as a hypocrite.

https://positivepsychologyprogram.com/communication-in-relationships/#improve

 

➜ Pay attention to your pitch and volume. High pitch sounds anxious and immature and loud volume may scare your partner away, especially in an argument. So, next time, try to talk calmly and be mindful of your pitch and volume.

https://www.tonyrobbins.com/ultimate-relationship-guide/key-communication-relationships/ communication

 

➜ Touch. A study conducted by Alberto Gallace and Charles Spence (2010) have found that touching can make people feel being loved and wanted and bring more positive outcomes. That is to say, while communicating with your partner, having some physical contact can sometimes ease the argument and send positive signals.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-the-name-love/201405/why-lovers-touch-is-so-powerful

 

Finally, let me end this with a quote from Shannon L. Alder: “When you give yourself permission to communicate what matters to you in every situation you will have peace despite rejection or disapproval. Putting a voice to your soul helps you to let go of the negative energy of fear and regret.”

communication

Xinyu (Lydia) Lu

Pittsburgh Couples Counseling & Marriage Therapy

Ways to Improve Your Relationship Pittsburgh Couples Counseling & Marriage Therapy

We can get to a place  in our relationship or marriage where things can seem hopeless or as if the love is lost. The question is how to we turn things around and ignite love and the spark back into our relationship? How can we do this when we are feeling angry, resentful, hurt , frustrated or bored? The most important thing to address first is to understand is that this is normal. In order to improve your relationship, both members must make the decision to act in order to move forward and heal. Below are some ways , shared by Makin Wellness Pittsburgh Counseling, to help you start to work on your relationship.Pittsburgh Couples Counseling

Communicate openly

If you and your partner struggle to communicate, you will have a hard time moving forward. Conversing with your significant other openly and honestly will help you both regain trust in one another. Be careful to not judge your partner when they share their feelings. Make your best effort at putting yourself in their situation and look at things from their perspective. It can be very challenging and painful to put yourself in their shoes, but it can give you valuable insight and help you understand where they are coming from.Pittsburgh Couples Counseling

 Show you are serious

Just talking about what you are thinking and feeling is not enough; you must show you are serious by acting and making changes. Once you and your love figured out what areas you want to work on in your relationship, you both will need to take some sort of action to start working on those issues. Brainstorm different things you both can change , express these to one another and start making adjustments.Pittsburgh Couples Counseling

Be patient

Just like it took time for your relationship to go downhill, it will take some time for it to improve. There are no instant or overnight fixes. Also, do not get discouraged if there are some backwards steps throughout this process. Your relationship is a journey with peaks and valleys as you are move forward.

Consistency is key

You both are now at a place where you are working diligently to save your relationship or marriage. This is not a time or place where you can use the “poke it with a stick method”, or put in a lot of time and effort one day , but not work on it for a few weeks or months. Being consistent is important and sticking with your plan is key in order for your relationship to improve.Pittsburgh Couples Counseling

Gratitude

Once you start identifying what areas in your relationship are not working, be sure to focus on and share what is working. Perhaps you struggle to communicate, but make time for date night once a week. Share how important this is with your partner and let them know what they do well in your marriage. Expressing gratitude will not only make your spouse feel great, but will help elevate your mood as well. Looking for what does work and expanding on that renews hope in your marriage and will help you continue to evolve as  a couple.Pittsburgh Couples Counseling

 

If you are struggling with your marriage or relationship , please schedule a free consultation today to get connected with Pittsburgh’s best therapists!

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About Makin WellnessFounded in 2017 , Makin Wellness is Pittsburgh’s premier therapy and coaching centers located in Downtown , Pittsburgh and New Kensington, PA. The company’s mission is to help people heal and become happy again. Makin Wellness specializes in depression, anxiety, addiction and relationship counseling . MPittsburgh Couples Counseling

Sara Makin Makin Wellness

Sara Makin, M.S.Ed, LPC, NCC